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Collins introduces legislation to address lack of high-speed internet in rural communities


Tue, Jan 16th 2018 05:35 pm
Congressman Chris Collins, R-NY-27, on Tuesday introduced legislation that would create a national federal registry of communications infrastructure to help address the lack of high-speed internet access in rural areas. This registry will help determine which assets are available for lease to better expand access, and will facilitate coordination between federal, state and local governments, as well as between carriers.
"It is almost unbelievable to think that approximately 65 percent of my district is underserved by broadband technology and about 3 percent is completely unserved," Collins said. "Broadband access is important to our rural communities as our reliance on the internet continues to grow for education, starting and administrating a business, receiving care from a doctor, or just plain shopping."
Collins' camp said broadband companies have found it time-consuming, expensive and complicated to reach the communities that currently lack access. This inventory would be available to communications providers, and include a description of assets, their locations, and a point of contact from each agency for more information on a given asset.
Collins sits on the energy and commerce committee subcommittee on communications and technology, which will hold a series of hearings in the coming weeks to address removing barriers to infrastructure buildout, supporting innovation, and strengthening the public safety benefits that come with access to broadband internet.
Collins added, "We need to think about things like public safety, making sure law enforcement has the ability to receive notification of an emergency and quickly respond. Our communities need broadband internet access to stay connected, and I am confident we are taking steps in the right direction."
For more information about the Inventory of Assets for Communications Facilities Act of 2018, click HERE.

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